We tracked 5 mysterious, high-speed radio explosions of the distant spiral galaxies

Secret Fast radio bursts (FRBs) continue to blind astronomers. Nobody is completely sure what caused these very short and intense radio pulses from space, but astronomers have now traced five FRBs back to their original galaxies.

This is Hubble Space Telescope She resurfaced with the merchandise. The telescope’s ultraviolet and infrared cameras were used to see where those five bursts appeared on the star map and to better understand how they appeared in the first place.

To date, only about 15 of the about a thousand FRBs discovered so far have been returned to specific galaxies. Therefore, tracking these bursts is an important indicator of how this phenomenon works.

‘Our results are new and exciting’ Says astronomer Alexandra ManningsFrom the University of California, Santa Cruz. “This is the first high-resolution display of a group of FRBs, and Hubble reveals that five of them are near or above the galaxy’s spiral arms. Most galaxies are relatively massive and small and still form stars.”

“Through imaging, we can get a better idea of ​​the general characteristics of a host galaxy, such as the mass and speed of star formation, and see what happens directly in the host galaxy.” FRB Position because Hubble has great subtlety. “

FRBs generate as much energy in a thousandth of a second as the Sun in a year. The more we learn about it, the more interesting it becomes. They can’t be connections from someone else’s life … right? (Probably not, sorry.)

Part of the difficulty in studying these bursts is that they last for milliseconds and rarely repeat. Scientists don’t really know where to look for the next either, which makes it really difficult to pin down their origins and causes.

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It turns out these five came from the more turbid parts of the spiral arms around galaxies, which experts say a lot. In spiral arms, the hottest and youngest stars get stuck in the galaxy, but these FRBs don’t come from the brightest parts of the arms.

Four FRB sites. (NASA, European Space Agency, Alexandra Mannings, Wayne Faye Fung; image processing: Alyssa Pagan)

Knowing what types of stars are in the spiral arm regions rather than in the spiral arm regions, the results support the hypothesis that FRBs most likely arose from ferromagnetic stars – dense stars with incredibly strong magnetic fields that tend to be found at the FRB sites observed by Hubble.

“Because of the strong magnetic fields, magnets are completely unpredictable.” Says astronomer Win Fei Fung From Northwestern University. “In this case, the FRBs are thought to come from the flares of a young magnetic star.”

“Massive stars go through stellar evolution and become neutron stars. Some can become highly magnetized, resulting in flares and magnetic processes on their surfaces that can emit scintillating light. Our study fits into this picture and excludes that they are either too small or too small. Much for FRBs.” . “

This Hubble-based exploration goes further than previous research on FRBs’ association with galaxies with specific underlying structures – in this case the spiral arms. This is a link that has not been clearly created before.

Slowly but surely, the experts are gathering some useful information about these elusive pulses of energy release through space. After identifying these events in 2007, astronomers found evidence of the first FRB in our galaxy last year.

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The question of what exactly FRBs are and where they came from remains unanswered, but studies like this new study by NASA rule out some of the ways others judge them and the more detailed images we can get from space the better.

“We don’t know what causes FRBs so it’s really important to use context when we have it.” Fong says. This technique successfully identifies the ancestors of other types of transients, such as supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Hubble also played a big role in these studies. “

The research has not been published yet, but it will appear in The Astrophysical Journal. It is now available as an introductory version on arXiv.org.

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